The cause of the 3 alarm fire yesterday afternoon at the former Jordan Meat Co. site was “most likely accidental in nature and potentially the result of demolition activities” said Portland Fire Chief Fred LaMontagne at a press conference held at noon today in front of the building on Fore Street. However, local and federal investigators could not determine the actual cause of the fire due to the amount of damage sustained by the structure. The investigation has been concluded as of today.
Fourteen food related businesses in the area were affected by the fire yesterday. After city inspections, four of those businesses were not allowed to reopen today. Eddie Fitzpatrick, co-owner of the Pepperclub Restaurant on Middle Street said he was allowed to open for dinner tonight.
Brian Shedd, project manager on site for Opechee Construction Corporation, said he noticed smoke streaming from the building during his lunch break around 1:15 pm. Shedd said he called 911 immediately because “it was obvious it was more than we could deal with.” Then he called the president of the company, Mark Woglom, of New Hampshire. Meanwhile, he also relocated the heavy equipment to the other end of the lot. Shedd said: “Some of it is now a big haze now.”
Mark Woglom, president of the company thanked the firefighters and police who had worked so quickly and efficiently to put out the fire before any more serious damage was done to the thickly populated area. He said that the company expects to be off schedule by only a few days now.